Scribe

Paul Auster

The name
never left his lips: he talked himself
into another body: he found his room again
in Babel.

It was written.
A flower
falls from his eye
and blooms in a stranger’s mouth.
A swallow
rhymes with hunger
and cannot leave its egg.

He invents
the orphan in tatters,

he will hold
a small black flag
riddled with winter.

It is spring,
and below his window
he hears
a hundred white stones
turn to raging phlox.

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Paul Auster (1947– ) is a novelist, essayist, translator, and poet whose complex mystery novels are often concerned with the search for identity and personal meaning. A graduate of Columbia University, he currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

“Magnificent poetry; dark, severe, even harsh—yet pulsating with life.”
—John Ashbery

“From the spook of ‘Spokes’ and the parabolic philosophical chiaroscuro of ‘White Spaces’ to the gnomic sighs of what’s in between, Paul Auster’s poems shimmer at the edges with audacious grace and uncanny soulfulness.”
—Charles Bernstein

“Anyone interested in the origins of Paul Auster’s art, its ground, will find these intense early sequences, these liminal austerities, of great interest. Auster’s is a poetry of extreme lyric condensation.”
—Michael Palmer

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